Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Charles Durning, Robert De Niro, Allen Garfield, Abraham Goren, Lara Parker
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
"Alive, amusing, interesting and inventive" (Newsweek), Hi, Mom! established Brian DePalma (Carrie) as a formidable directorial talent and premier social satirist. Bursting withincisive parodies of home movies, TV document... more »
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firstname.lastname@example.org | Atlanta, GA | 10/31/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Robert De Niro has played many odd ball characters in his day and perhaps none more so than Jon Rubin, in Brian De Palma's Hi,Mom! The movie begins with De Niro renting a run down apartment in the city where he can begin his new career. This career, he has decided, will be in the adult film industy. He tries to convinces a smut producer to give him a budget to film his neighbors in the buiding across from him. Eventually, he agrees so using a telephotolens De Niro begins recording their every move. Unfortunatly his targets(who have no idea they are being watched) are not very interesting. So De Niro begins to date a girl in the building he has noticed is lonely in an attempt to spice up his video. However, this does not pan out and De Niro's porn career is over. He turns his camera in for a television. This leads him to take a role in a play called Be Black Baby playing a police officer. It is being put on by some black radicals to illustrate to white people what it would be like to be black in contemperary America. The play is shocking and probably the most interesting part of the film. After the play is over De Niro returns to the girl from the building across from him and the movie ends in a melodramatic and bizarre fasion. This movie is definatly worth watching. This film put Brian De Palma on the map, and De Niro shows flashes of the brilliance that in years to come would create so many classic characters."
A powerful and provocative film from the young De Palma
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 12/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw both "Greetings" and "Hi, Mom!" back in the early 1970s at a college art theater, which was well before director Brian De Palma and actor Robert De Niro became big names. "Greetings" was De Palma's 1968 anti-war movie and "Hi, Mom!" was sort of intended as a sequel of sorts. In this 1970 film De Niro plays John Rubin, a Vietnam vet who returns from the war to settle in Greenwich Village. His big idea is to film the people in the apartment across the street and to sell Pepping Tom type films (where you even have to look through a the little windows in a little brick front to get the correct experience). Eventually John's obsession with making films gets him involved with a radical "Black Power" group. This results in two unforgettable sequences, the first involving what we would not call a Yuppie audience being subjected to urban guerrilla theater in the play "Be Black, Baby," and the second an act of urban terrorism that gives Jon a chance to say the film's title while smiling into a camera.De Palma is clearly exploring the idea of breaking the barrier between actors and audience in the act of performance. I can appreciate this idea because every time I see theater in the round I keep watching the audience watching the play instead of just watching the play. Pay attention to De Palma's use of the split screen to explore the dual perspectives and get the audience watching the movie involved more involved in the equation as well. Repeatedly, it all comes down to point of view, meaning the point of view of the camera. This idea is reinforced by Jon, for whom life is not real unless it is on camera, a point most notably made in his sexual encounter with Judy (Jennifer Salt). However, the most powerful part of this film is the "Be Black, Baby" sequences, and this is where you either find this film totally brilliant or grossly offensive. Throughout "Hi, Mom!" De Palma and De Niro have made the viewers party to Jon's voyeurism, albeit in more subtle ways than splatter flicks that let the audience see through the killer's eyes. Having persuaded (coerced?) us into this perspective, De Palma makes us pay for it in a most brutal manner. If you cannot appreciate the payoff of this sequence, and that could well be most of the people who bother to watch this film, then you are not going to be able to appreciate this film. But at the very least you should be able to understand not only what De Palma is doing, but why.After that point the film section of the film seems quite anticlimactic. De Palma is trying to take his argument to the next level, but having been blown away by "Be Black, Baby," there is no way for the director and actor to top that moment. "Hi, Mom!" is a provocative film that provided me with one of the most memorable experiences in a movie theater that I have ever had. Watching this film again, this time knowing where De Palma and De Niro were taking me, really made me appreciate the purpose behind that powerful moment. Of course from the vantage point of today it is rather startling to compare this rather raw film with the slick Hollywood productions for which De Palma is best known, but this film is so powerful it is hard not to consider it his best work."
moontang | startford, on, canada | 06/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most overlooked movie of the 1970's. Probably one of DePalma's best efforts. Also, a great example of DeNiro's early acting range. Funny, terrifying, brilliant. A great dissection of race issues, voyeurism, war, random violence, the family, and gender relations as well as a terrific homage to Hitchcock's Rear Window..."
A training ground for DeNiro!?!?...Please the man is a natur
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 11/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is so crazy. Hi, Mom asks a great deal from the viewer, and offers little in return. It includes frequent tonal shifts, abrupt changes in generic gear. It begins as an urban farce, transforms into slightly meditative romantic comedy, then, by turns, social satire, and domestic comedy. A viewer could be forgiven for feeling slightly whip-lashed by the film's violent conclusion.
Robert De Niro stars (his third De Palma movie) as a Vietnam vet who becomes obsessed with 16mm filmmaking as a way of making social connections and studying his society. He focuses on a Greenwich Village housing development. Politics become enmeshed with sex when De Niro courts Jennifer Salt (later star of De Palma's "Sisters" ) as a means of gaining access to the apartment building, a symbol of establishment and social conformity.
Hi, Mom! proves to be prescient about the uses of media to extend vision into other people's lives and communicate cultural frustration. Although the methods have changed from film to video, the same curiosity and motivation exist. There's also the same potential to deceive public perception; that's the idea behind De Palma's satire of public TV--then called educational television.
De Palma's inventiveness is highlighted in a sequence titled "Be Black Baby," where racial tension, media hypocrisy and revolutionary politics collide. This segment just kill me because it turned out to the sharpest, funniest, most observant, and most disturbing out of the entire film. No movie or TV sketch since has been as funny or powerful about American social hypocrisy. Its details are too good to give away. To see it is to never forget it. The title, incidentally, refers to the common subversion of FCC rules that most people, excited about their 15 minutes of fame, can't help flouting. This movie announced the beginning of a major film sensibility and today it looks smarter and funnier than any current movie that passes for social comedy. Not an ordinary film of entertainment but very interesting. I would highly recommend this to those who wants to see the early years of Bobby DeNiro and Brain DePalma.